You might expect that since Apple has announced the date of its iPhone introduction, that all the rumors would die down. We, on the other hand, expected the opposite, and that's what seems to be happening.
Cases for both the iPhone 4S
and iPhone 5
have appeared in AT&T
stores. In addition, screenshots of AT&T's inventory system showed iPhone 5 cases,
as well, and from the major manufacturer Case-Mate, which lends credence to the existence of an iPhone 5 (we wouldn't expect them to screw up, in other words).
With all these evidence, we've believed for some time of the existence of both models.
The latest evidence of an iPhone 4S comes from 9to5mac, which has found references to the iPhone 4S in the latest iTunes for Mac Beta (10.5 beta 9). In addition, the reference indicates that the iPhone 4S will be a dual-mode CDMA / GSM phone. It also clearly indicates that the iPhone 4S will be the N94 that has been referenced for months and believed to be the next-generation iPhone.
9to5mac believes this means that the iPhone 5 does not exist, saying "Today, rumors of a re-design can essentially be put to rest."
We don't necessarily agree.
Just because there's a reference to the N94 linked to the iPhone 4S does not mean there is no iPhone 5. In fact, our own source, who formerly worked for Apple and still has close ties to relatively loose-lipped Apple employees, says the iPhone 4S has always existed. Apple just decided after the Verizon iPhone launch that a summer iPhone launch (with the iPhone 4S) was too near the Verizon launch and would upset too many people.
At the same time, our source says he's see both models. It was, he noted, unclear if the iPhone 5 was complete, but upper management had been pushing engineers to finish the iPhone 5 in time for this October launch.
Meanwhile, if the iPhone 4S is still launched, it won't have an upgraded A5 processor. Instead, it will have tweaks, such as a dual-mode CDMA / GSM model so that it can be sold without having to manufacture two models for Verizon / Sprint and one for AT&T. It will also have the Verizon antenna system, to reduce the chance of a "holding it wrong" moment.
The iPhone 5, he says, is as described (teardrop shaped, slimmer, 8MP camera, A5 processor, and more) in many places. The only possibility is that despite pushing engineers to get it done early than originally planned, it may not be ready. A second source says Apple is having problems with the beveled edge of the screen.
In terms of the iPhone 5, we believe it exists and will be delivered in the form rumored, despite our second source's doubts. We feel the evidence, as well as moves by multiple companies (not just AT&T, but Case-Mate, Otterbox, and others) point in this direction. In addition, we don't think Apple would make anxious iPhone fans wait 16 months for "just" a revamped iPhone 4S.
We'll see if we're wrong --- or right --- on Tuesday.